fines are based on self-reporting by hospitals of medical errors so the numbers reported may be lower than the medical errors that are actually occurring. In the last six months, 13 California hospitals were fined for such preventable medical errors as leaving surgical instruments in patients, wrong site surgeries, and medication errors. The report was published by www.clinicaladvisor.com. Among the notable preventable medical errors were the following:
The Los Angeles Community Hospital in Norwalk, where a patient who was supposed to have been restrained pulled out a tracheotomy tube and subsequently died.
California Hospital Medical Center, where an emergency room resident misdiagnosed a woman with an ectopic pregnancy (she was not pregnant) and administered methotrexate, which caused immunosuppression and major adverse effects.
Marina Del Rey Hospital, where intensive care nurses failed to monitor a patient’s oxygen levels, resulting in the patient passing out and having to be put on a ventilator.
St. Jude Medical Center, where a patient died in the emergency room after nurses failed to notice that the heart monitor was disconnected.
Kaiser Foundation Hospital, where a 90-year-old patient was given medication intended for another patient, resulting in his being intubated and on a ventilator.
Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, where a surgical team left a sponge in the pleural cavity of a patient during surgery, necessitating a second surgery.
San Francisco General Hospital, where surgeons left a gauze sponge in a patient which went unnoticed for three months until the patient returned to the hospital.
John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, which received four fines for incidents involving the use of untrained and non-certified nurses in the emergency room, resulting in the death of a two-year-old child.
Hoag Memorial Hospital, where a patient was injured when a metal gurney that she was lying on was placed in a room with an MRI machine. When the MRI was turned on, the gurney was pulled by magnetic force into the machine, crushing the patient’s leg.
These are just some of the medical errors reported in a six month period by a state that requires such reporting. It would be beneficial if our own state of New Hampshire had such reporting requirements.
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